The Chicago Bears need a quarterback. Really bad. Somebody they can bank on to help them win in 2021. That is at least what head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace will be thinking. Pace repeatedly said “everything is on the table” during his recent press conference. So one can imagine he’ll consider any and all options to upgrade that position. Could this include pursuing an old white whale in Carson Wentz?
For those who don’t remember, back in 2016 the Bears held the 11th overall pick. Pace reportedly at the time was hopeful for acquiring a quarterback to eventually replace Jay Cutler. Word surfaced after the draft that he had designs on possibly moving up to grab Wentz. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles beat him to the punch by jumping up to #2 overall and drafting the North Dakota State star.
Or some may call it a fortunate dodging of a bullet in retrospect.
After a great start to his Eagles career including 33 TD passes in 2017 and over 4,000 yards with 27 TDs and seven interceptions in 2019, things have gone off the rails for the 28-year old quarterback. He threw a career-high 15 interceptions with just 16 TD passes before being benched for rookie Jalen Hurt and saw his relationship with head coach Doug Pederson fracture to such an extent that the man was fired this past week.
Speculation for weeks was that Wentz wanted out and had requested a trade. Pederson being gone has quieted those rumors. Some though still think it’s possible if unlikely. How bad was it behind the scenes? A fantastic scoop from Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer spilled the details.
“The forces behind Wentz’s regression were manifold and in many ways there for years. He didn’t always take to hard coaching. He struggled with accountability. He could shrink back into a tight-knit group of teammates he trusted or become isolated.
Wentz’s Type-A personality could be credited just as much for his past success. Many top quarterbacks share the same trait. But the 28-year-old had increasingly rebuffed advice, defied criticism, and clashed with former coach Doug Pederson last season, Eagles sources said.”
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 16, 2021
Carson Wentz wouldn’t jive with Pace and Nagy’s beloved culture
Further details revealed that while Wentz has a strong work ethic and competitive streak, he also showcased a personality of defiance and refusal to accept responsibility for his own mistakes. Whenever he missed a read, he’d blame anything else he could be it the pass rush or coverage rather than him owning up to the mistake. His relationship with Pederson got so bad that he openly defied the coach at times during games.
There was a disconnect even before Wentz was benched, though. Pederson would call a play only for his quarterback to occasionally kill it for no other reason than his personal distaste, sources said. It became “a pissing match” between the two, one of the sources said.
Considering Nagy is friends with Pederson, it’s likely he’ll pick the coach’s brain on the idea of working with Carson Wentz. Getting details like this probably won’t help any sort of push to trade for the quarterback. To say nothing of his recent decline and that bloated contract that would bring a $30+ million salary cap hit. For a team that spouts off constantly about its culture, this would not be the move for them to make.
After years of guys like Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles?
Wentz would be a step down it seems from a character perspective. His talent is undeniable. When he’s in a groove, he’s proven he can be productive. It just sounds like the guy is too much of a headache to deal with. The Bears might still do it if they’re desperate and the Eagles make him available. Still, that doesn’t seem like a possibility at this point.